Crystal Township Board votes against pursuing ethics policy

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 1:05 pm on Thursday, April 12, 2012

CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP — The idea of enforcing an ethical code of conduct for the Crystal Township Board to operate by won’t be happening anytime soon after the board voted to not consider pursuing the idea.

Spearheaded by Trustee Jerry Stone, the ethics policy would have required the board to act under five main principles:

• 1. In conducting their official duties, township officials and employees shall observe both the spirit and intent of all applicable laws, township ordinances and township policies and procedures.

• 2. Township officials shall act if a fair and partial manner.

• 3. Actions of officials and employees shall be consistent with the township’s best interest rather than for personal gain.

• 4. The township shall practice transparency in its affairs unless there is a legal necessity for legal confidentiality.

• 5. Civility and respect will be demonstrated in all governing processes and the delivering of township programs and services.

The board voted during Wednesday night’s township board meeting to not consider pursuing the development of the township ethics policy with a 4-1 vote, with Stone opposed.

Supervisor Charlie Braman said his primary issue was deciding who would enforce the ethics policy for board members.

“My thought is, we’re moving right back in the same direction of asking who’s going to enforce this,” Braman said. “It’s only a common sense thing that we’re looking at anyway.”

Braman said he believes if members of the community are not satisfied with the way board members are operating, they can vote for new members during re-election.

“I think our code of ethics is decided every four years at the election box,” he said. “If we’re not doing what people think we should be, we just wont be re-elected again.”

Braman said a code of ethics may work in bigger cities, but said Crystal Township is too small of a community to enforce it.

“I think maybe in the city something like this needs to be done, but in a community like this, I don’t think (it’s necessary),” he said.

Clerk Bob Naumann said he believes the board is acting fairly and honestly for the community.

“I hope the community sees that we are all operating under these rules, and if we are not, then I would hope that they are not re-electing us when it comes time for an election,” he said.


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